January 25, 2008
BrightHeart To Treat Pets With $28.5M
By Lorie Konish
Veterinary hospital operator BrightHeart Veterinary Centers has raised $28.5 million in
a second round of funding to expand into new geographic markets.
New investor LLR Partners contributed a $25 million equity investment, while previous
investor Caltius Mezzanine put in $3.5 million. Both investments were done at the same
valuation, according to BrightHeart Chief Executive Howard Rubin, who declined to
comment on the post-money valuation of the funding.
“We are building a national network of specialty referral hospitals and emergency clinics
for companion animals,” Rubin said of the company.
BrightHeart, which is based in Armonk, N.Y., was founded in February 2007 with the
goal of establishing national advanced-care veterinary hospitals for emergency and
specialty care. Since then, BrightHeart has established four locations including Katonah,
N.Y., and Farmington, Conn., established in 2007; and Downers Grove, Ill., and Calgary,
Alberta. The Illinois and Canada sites were acquired with the new funding. BrightHeart
also plans to use the funding for additional acquisitions and working capital.
“With this round of funding we will probably do three or four more,” Rubin said. “It
really has more to do with the quality and nature of the specialists than it has to do with
the geographic location.”
The new funding should last BrightHeart through the end of this year, Rubin said, and
the company will consider raising additional capital. BrightHeart is profitable and cash
flow positive, Rubin said.
While there are other companies establishing veterinary care operations, BrightHeart
hopes to have an advantage with its specialty and emergency care services, Rubin said.
BrightHeart’s specialty services include surgery, oncology, cardiology, dermatology and
Prior to this investment, BrightHeart raised about $17 million last summer in a
mezzanine debt funding through Caltius Mezzanine. BrightHeart took in its first round
of about $12 million in the first half of 2007 through Unified Growth Capital, which
helped found the company.
“There is a medical driver for” services such as those provided by BrightHeart, Unified
Growth Partner Robert Miner said, “but also there is a strong belief on the part of pet
owners that their pets are really part of the family now, and they’re more willing to seek
help if their pets are facing medical challenges.”